Stellantis CEO pledges a $25,000 Jeep EV coming to the U.S. 'very soon'

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Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares, like late Fiat Chrysler America boss Sergio Marchionne before him, still isn't exactly on board with an evolution to electric vehicles that appears to be guided by chaotic regulation, market hope, and enormous sums of money in between. Even so, like Marchionne, he's overseen EV releases that inch the company toward whatever the future ends up being. To our surprise, he just told a conference audience that another one of those vehicles will be an affordable electric Jeep that will come to America "very soon." What's unexpected is that he sounds so gung-ho about it, and that he chose Jeep as the brand to do it.

CNBC reported the comments on the sidelines of a Bernstein investor summit. Clarifying his take on price, Tavares said, "If you ask me what is an affordable BEV, I would say 20,000 euros in Europe and $25,000 in the U.S.," adding, "So our job is to bring the safe, clean and affordable BEV to the U.S., $25,000. We’ll do it." The kicker was, "In the same way we brought the 20,000 euro Citroen e-C3, you will have a $25,000 Jeep very soon."

Until the Recon hits the market, the only battery-electric Jeep in the world is the Avenger, sold in Europe for about 24,000 euros ($25,950 U.S.) with a hybrid gas engine or about 38,000 euros ($41,090 U.S.) in electric form. That buys a 54-kWh battery and a 154-horsepower motor on the front axle, with 217 miles of WLTP range. The Citroen e-C3 Tavares mentioned comes with a smaller battery, a less powerful motor, and a 199-mile WLTP range, and there's another even less expensive version on the way with a even smaller pack and a 124-mile WLTP range. 

The Avenger EV's tagline on the French Jeep site is "Conceived for the real world," one not exactly familiar to American Jeep buyers. Although the Avenger is five inches longer than the new electric Mini, it is six inches shorter in length and four inches narrower than the retired Jeep Renegade. Hence Jeep's reasoning for telling Wired magazine about the Avenger's lack of visa for the U.S.: "While the B segment, in which the Jeep Avenger competes, is popular in markets such as Europe, the U.S. consumer tends to favor vehicles in the midsize and large SUV segments. This is why we are launching other all-electric vehicles, such as Wagoneer S and Jeep Recon, which will compete in the midsize segment globally, including the U.S."

Even after subtracting European taxes, $16,000 is a giant chunk of unit price to take out of a car. Oh, and that Renegade started at about $29,000 when it was last on sale here. We're guessing Tavares chose Jeep to do the unveil because it can command premium prices. But count us curious as to what kind of electric Jeep will start at $25,000 here. At the same conference where he broached the Jeep EV, Tavares said, "The EV race has become a cost-cutting race," so the supplier base "will move from the Western world to the best cost countries." You know what that means. And you've been warned about what's coming.

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